Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has launched this years CILT Africa Forum 2020 with a call on Ghana to position itself to fully benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and hence, must not only play the host of the AfCFTA Secretariat.
The International Vice President for Africa & Chairman of Africa Forum for CILT, Dr. Newton Demba, who made this call said Logistics, Transport and Industry have a major role to play in ensuring intra African Trade and that hosting AfCFTA would further open Ghana’s industrial sector to competition from other African companies.
Dr. Newton Demba made the call in his Key Note Address at the official launch of the CILT Africa Forum 2020 held at the La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.
He averred that government of Ghana needs a purposeful and deliberate plan to refinance and retool Ghana’s industries to stand up to foreign competition.
“Indeed, Trading among African countries with a market of more than 1.2 billion people is a major turning point towards the transformational agenda to liberate the continent from area where there is poverty and deprivation. It will also strengthen Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations,” he said.
He also noted that the CILT Africa Forum is a regional meeting of the Institute aimed at supporting sub-regions and individual countries on the continent to grow and develop professionally, tap the professional skills of members to assist in the areas of program and development and build capacities to connect and compete in available opportunities, “first within Africa and the global market.”
Dr Demba also enumerated that CILT is established to promote and encourage the art and science of supply chain, logistics and transport” in all its territories and branches. It achieves this objective both through its membership and professional qualifications and to provide extensive opportunities for training and learning opportunities with a range of internationally recognized qualifications and courses.
He mentioned that CILT Ghana’s efforts in championing the course of CILT in Ghana and Africa in the area of professional education and training in Logistics and Transport as well as policy advice to the Government of Ghana, which have been in the areas of road transport, aviation, ports and logistics, among others, must be commended.
He commended the leadership of CILT-Ghana led by Mr. Ebo Hammond for winning the bid to host this year’s CILT Africa Forum; an event which will bring together over 300 delegates from Africa and beyond.
On his part, President of CILT-Ghana, Ebo Hammond in his address indicated that the theme for this year’s Forum; “Sustainable Implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): The Role of the Logistics, Transport and Industry is carefully chosen as “this year practically ushers Ghana and other African countries into what has been described as a ‘GameChanger’.”
He hopes that the focus on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) further brings to the fore the opportunities that characterise the AfCFTA.
He said: “The Forum will equally highlight its challenges for governments and businesses. The AfCFTA, whose Secretariat will be hosted in Ghana will be the world’s largest free trade area by number of countries (55 nations), by number of population (1.2 billion) and gross domestic product ($2.3 trillion, 2017) once it is fully up and running.
It is rightly described by International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a Game-Changer for the continent, which has a low intra-regional trade of about 16% (2017) of international export trade.”
AfCFTA, he also said, could serve as a new engine of growth across the continent and logistics, transport and industry in general have a major role to play in its success and sustainability.
“It is worthy to note that Ghana is ready to host the rest of Africa and the world, particularly coming on the heels of a hugely successful ‘Year of Return’ in 2019, which saw huge numbers of visitors into the country. We take this opportunity to invite our African diaspora to register and attend to appreciate the investment potentials in Ghana and the continent beyond the Return,” he said.
CILT Africa Forum
The CILT Africa Forum is a major continental event for CILT which is organized annually and rotated among the Africa member countries.
The Forum provides a platform for governments, corporate organizations, individuals and students to share, learn and promote professional and business interests.
Various presentations and discussions pertaining to the theme will be delivered by seasoned professionals in the industry and academia.
This year’s forum is scheduled for the 18th – 20th March 2020 under the theme; ‘Sustainable Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA); The role of Logistics, Transport and Industry.’
It will feature high-ranking government officials, seasonal industry experts and academicians across Africa.
At that Forum, there would also be the launch of CILT International Business Forum, which seeks to promote business exchanges and develop business opportunities between our members.
Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is a leading professional body representing supply chain, logistics and transport industries worldwide. It is a membership-based organization with over 34,000 members in over 35 countries and has been in in existence over 100 years now.
CILT has 3 major International events planned in each calendar year; which are Africa Forum, International Convention, and China International Development Convention.
These events bring together professionals, senior government officials, development funders and policy makers from various countries across the continents to address issues pertinent to supply chain, logistics and transport in order to inform policy directions and global interventions.
By: Prosper Agbenyega